Scott Lively 'splains why Pope Francis's choice to say "gay" is bad news for anti-gay Christians who want to deny that gays even exist, since, as they maintain, we're talking about behavior and choices and not characteristics deeply rooted in the nature of a group of human beings:
My concern is about his use of the phrases "a gay person" and "the fact of that person being gay." Saying "a gay person," instead of "a person who struggles with homosexual temptation," or "a person who defines himself as homosexual" is on its face a major concession to sexual-orientation theory when used by a church leader about Christians.
Further, in the context of the sentence, it implies a softening of church policy that those with a deep-seated homosexual identity, even if celibate, are unfit for the priesthood. The 2005 "Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocation with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders" forbids "those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called 'gay culture.'"
On Scott Lively, who is right at the heart of the kill-the-gays legislation in Uganda, see Right Wing Watch and Southern Poverty Law Center. The latter has placed Lively and his Abiding Truth Ministries on its anti-gay hate watch list.
Still asking why, when the pope said "gay," John Allen reported via his headline about the pope's comments at National Catholic Reporter that the pope talked about not judging "homosexuals." If the pope's choice to utter the word "gay" was a big deal, why did the top-billed reporter for the flagship "liberal" Catholic publication of the U.S. run a headline reporting on that choice using the term "homosexual" in its stead?!
Word matter. And letting the voices of openly gay and lesbian people into conversations that have been dominated up to now by heterosexual males--conversations in which the very identity of LGBT human beings has been defined without their involvement in these defining conversations--is extremely important. That is, if our commitment to mercy, love, and justice means something beyond rhetoric . . . .